“Members of the Australian Senate who will very soon vote on Senator Leyonhjelm’s Restoring Territory Rights (Assisted Suicide Legislation) Bill 2015 should not hide behind the excuse of ‘territory rights’ ” said Margaret Tighe, President of Right to Life Australia.

She said “The bottom line in this debate is that the bill is designed to unleash into the Australian community legalised physician-assisted suicide. Would those same Senators who claim to be more concerned about so-called ‘territory rights’ be willing to give rights to the territories to legalise capital punishment? Imagine the loss of life in the Northern Territory in particular.”

She continued “The compelling reason to oppose this bill is the very reason it was put forward by Senator Leyonhjelm and I quote: ‘My bill addresses two issues: territory rights and the right to die, I am a firm believer in both’ (ABC 28/6/18).”

Margaret Tighe said “The idea of the federal parliament taking steps to facilitate physician -assisted suicide in the Northern Territory – under the guise of “territory rights” rights is nothing short of a blatant disregard for the welfare of indigenous members of the Territory who already lack appropriate healthcare and especially palliative care!” One only has to look at those few jurisdictions overseas where euthanasia has been legalised for some years now to see that the so-called ‘right to die’ has become, in many instances the ‘duty to die’! Last official figures from the Netherlands in 2015 reveal that 431 euthanasia deaths occurred without the patient’s consent! A documentary on the ABC TV’s Foreign Correspondent about the recent physician-assisted suicide of Australian Professor Goodall in Switzerland revealed that since it was allowed, the numbers have increased four-fold!”

Margaret Tighe said “To quote Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, Former Judge in the House of Lords which, like the House of Commons overwhelmingly voted against legalising physician-assisted suicide – My experience of presiding over the family division of the High Court showed me again and again how subtle and calculate the pressure, coercion and even control asserted on a vulnerable individual can be. The safeguards provide no real protection to the truly vulnerable and they will fall apart if this bill becomes law.” [published UK Times 8/9/15]

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